“Judy, love,” returned Jane, “they didn’t know where you were, really. And those country officers have threatened us before, you know. I suppose they are a little bit jealous that we girls and not their boys, are scattered over the landscape with yells and other appropriate noises. Sit down” (they had reached a birch bench), “I must tell you about Lenox Hall.”
“I know about the noises and I do believe they are really uncanny,” said Judith, “but what can we do away over at this end of the campus?”
“Go over to the other end, of course,” said straightforward Jane, “and I have promised to lay those ghosts tonight.”
“Tonight!” sighed Judith, dropping her head on Jane’s shoulder.
“Not you, of course. You shan’t come,” protested Jane. “I only wanted to plan things with you. A warm bed and a nice cup of malted milk will be about all for you this night, Judy dear.” The head, as black as Judith’s own in the shadows, tried to fold itself on a cheek if no closer, but the attempt scarcely felt comfortable, and Jane just blew a kiss into Judith’s ear, then straightened up again.
“As if I would miss that!” murmured Judith. “I am dog-tired, Dinksy, but ghosts! Oh, boy! Lead me to ’em!” and the courage of youth defied that day’s record for Judith Stearns.
“We must hurry; see the lights in the girls’ rooms, and you know they are bound to slight work tonight. This is what I suppose we will have to do. A few of us—you, if you insist, Dozia and Winifred, and I will somehow get out after Miss Fairlie has made the rounds. I don’t know how we’ll do it, but we have got to try. Then over at Lenox we may hide in the shrubbery and wait for the ghosts. I am perfectly sure they will come along the path from the gate keeper’s cottage. Either they are inside or permitted to enter, and it isn’t likely that ordinary spooks come through such walls as ours.”
“All right. I’ll be there if I don’t fall asleep over my trig. But I do think being arrested is awfully wearying—I could dream here in spite of the howling winds. Jane Allen, do you realize this is a cold, bleak, dreary night, and you are tempting ghosts to parade in--bathing suits or nighties?”
“It is cold; take an end of my scarf and hurry in. May a kind thought prompt us how to elude the wary Fairlie. Take care you don’t seem sociable when she taps. It would be fatal if she should enter for a ‘cozy little chat.’ She has done it, you know.”
“Do I know it? Do you think I shall ever forget the cozy little chat she dropped in for, when my alcohol lamp thrust under the couch threatened to burn down the place? I have never been friendly with the inspector since.”
Judith ceased speaking suddenly and Jane clutched her arm as voices were heard somewhere. Yes—two girls were leaving Headley Hall and now came close enough to Jane and Judith to send even their subdued voices ahead in the darkness.